Nacogdoches residents celebrate Texas' 180th Independence Day - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches residents celebrate Texas' 180th Independence Day

Historic reenactors salute the DRT, law enforcement, and servants of Texas at a Texas Independence Day ceremony in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. (Source: KTRE Staff) Historic reenactors salute the DRT, law enforcement, and servants of Texas at a Texas Independence Day ceremony in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Emma Margaret Packard, about to turn 15 months old, rings the Old University Bell in commemoration of Texas Independence Day. Emma is certified Children of Texas with heritage going back to when Texas was a Republic. (Source: KTRE Staff) Emma Margaret Packard, about to turn 15 months old, rings the Old University Bell in commemoration of Texas Independence Day. Emma is certified Children of Texas with heritage going back to when Texas was a Republic. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Peggy Jasso, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Stone Fort Chapter member, stands at the grave of a real daughter she portrayed at Oak Grove Cemetery on Texas Independence Day. Peggy Jasso, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Stone Fort Chapter member, stands at the grave of a real daughter she portrayed at Oak Grove Cemetery on Texas Independence Day.
The DRT, Stone Fort Chapter had 304 Texas flags place in and around Oak Grove Cemetary to commemorate the Nacogdoches Tricentennial and the four signers of the Texas Constitution who are buried at the site. (Source: KTRE Staff) The DRT, Stone Fort Chapter had 304 Texas flags place in and around Oak Grove Cemetary to commemorate the Nacogdoches Tricentennial and the four signers of the Texas Constitution who are buried at the site. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

It's Texas Independence Day. The Lone Star State is 180 years old today.

Each year the independence from Mexico is celebrated in Nacogdoches by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. This year, members held to tradition, but added a few new salutes in honor of the Nacogdoches Tricentennial.

The 180 pulls by school children on the Old University Building bell rope marks an annual Texas birthday celebration in Nacogdoches.

This year Emma Margaret Packard, just shy of 15 months old, had the privilege of helping out thanks to her ancestors.  

"She can put her heritage all the way back to the old 300,” said Julia Clow, Emma’s grandmother and Stone Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas secretary. “Not just the DRT, but back to Stephen F. Austin colony."

So in Emma's future, she'll be taught the pledge to the Texas flag.

"Honor the Texas Flag. I pledge allegiance to thee,” the crowd said in unison.

Chances are, she’ll also learn the words to the state song.

"Texas Our Texas. So wonderful, so great,” the crowd sang.

.She’ll probably also learn why Daughters of the Republic of Texas commemorate March 2 in such a big way.

"Texas Army. For the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, ready, aim, fire,” said Col. Jeff Opperman, a historic reenactor.

Then guns fired.

Emma won't remember, but Texas Independence Day 2016 is in the year of the Nacogdoches Tricentennial.  

"And the citizens of Nacogdoches have in the past and continue to demonstrate great leadership qualities which benefit the people of Texas,” Said Shelly Brophy, a Nacogdoches City Commissioner.

For the Tricentennial the DRT purchased 300 flags that were placed in and around historic Oak Grove Cemetery. An additional four flew for signers of the Texas Constitution who are buried at the site.

In addition, there were portrayals of two real daughters.   

"Anna Amelia Clark Schott,” said Peggy Jasso, a member of the Stone Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. “She was a real daughter of the Stone Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas because her mother Amelia Taylor was born April 22, 1845 and was a citizen of the Republic of Texas.”

Not everyone gets excited about history. Luckily there are many Texans who do.

"I just feel great that I'm a Texan,” said Pattye Greer, the DRT’s Tricentennial chair. This state is so wonderful. Such a good place to live and raise your children. And it just makes me feel wonderful."

There are several ways you can celebrate Texas Independence this week of the Nacogdoches Tricentennial.

The Sterne-Hoya House Museum & Library has two days of events. An evening reception on Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., complete with live string music and refreshments will kick things off. Then on Saturday A Family Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will include Dutch oven cooking demonstrations and samples, crafts and tours of the house.

There's also a new exhibit at Stone Fort Museum on the campus of SFA which includes new additions to the museum collection.

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